Mara has been enjoying adventures by herself recently. When she decides she wants to wander, she tends to go. She doesn’t wait for Rana (or wait for anything, not even Scott delivering pumpkins); she just goes.
Rana is incredibly food-oriented – specifically hay oriented. We are feeding Mara extra food – and additional meals – to keep her weight up, so there is generally lots of food around Mara. If Mara is ready to head out into Yard 4, Rana isn’t interested in following until all the hay is gone. In general, Rana has a bit of a tendency to laziness, which is compounded when staying put involves more hay snacks. Rana is aware when Mara leaves, and she has the option to follow Mara – just like Mara has the option to wait for Rana. It is an intentional choice on both their parts to separate at times. They both seemed very laid back and relaxed about this recent independence.
Sometimes, Rana will head out to Mara after a few hours. Other times, Mara will head back to Rana. Still other times, they will stay apart for the majority of the day.
When Mara leaves Rana, she frequently heads near the pond in Yard 4 to swim or to graze. The ponds are rapidly filling back up, making them a little cooler than usual since the rain is on the chilly side. Mara seems to enjoy the cooler water. Today’s video is Mara playing in the pond by herself. On this day, Mara was in Yard 4 before breakfast and spent the day out there. Rana spent that entire day with Bambi. By dinner time, she was back near the barn, happy to be back with Rana.
They don’t seem to look lost or call to each other, even when they get a little lost trying to find each other. One recent evening, Mara headed back to the barn but went to Yard 3, where she found a closed gate – and Bambi through the fence. The two were happily hanging out. We found Rana alone in Yard 2, so we fed her part of the way to the others, and, once she finished eating, she found Mara and Bambi, and they had a mini-party. Another night, Rana came back but found a closed gate near the square. We led her to Mara, who was near the back of Yard 3. The two were very happy to see each other, with lots of happy ear flaps, and they quickly walked off together in Yard 4.
It’s a good sign of how secure Rana & Mara are that they don’t feel any anxiety or concern when they are apart. It’s an excellent level of independence for both of them, because, as we all know, sometimes you don’t want to do exactly what your best friend is doing.